The first vivid memory I have of being elated was in high school. Knowing my personality, I’m sure I’d been elated before, many times. But this one stands out as a defining memory because I wasn’t elated in an event or a present or a trip to summer camp. I was elated in me.
I’ve shared before that I played many instruments, all to mediocrity. Getting both of my hands working on the keyboard was torture and who wants to listen to the slowest rendition of Bach? The flute was fine, but not edgy enough for me. The sax was also fine, but I was not edgy enough for it. Then we have the drums, the guitar, and violin as I sought to be a musician. In junior high I switched from playing in the band with boring Mr. Law to choir, a better fit for my personality and talents.
Let’s also recall another defining memory from 6th grade where I was asked in the kindest of terms to sing a little bit softer as I had a “choir rather than solo voice.” It rang true, and has been a good metaphor for other parts of life as well. In my sophomore year I tried out for a show choir and didn’t get it so I decided to sign up for Forensics (public speaking) and joined the Forensic Team.
In my first meet I competed in “Humor” and had prepared a five to seven minute humor piece based on Erma Bombeck’s book on Motherhood (Yeah, I’m laughing too). I remember returning to our dark school on a cold Saturday after the first meet. Once we got back we were each given the score and comment sheets. Our classroom was out in a temporary building and after I read mine, I stood on the tiny patio and screamed into the darkness.
A primal scream. No words. A scream that said, I AM ALIVE and I WAS MADE FOR THIS and I HAVE NEVER BEEN AS IN TUNE WITH MYSELF AS RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT and GOD, IF IT WEREN’T FOR GRAVITY, I’D BE FLOATING UP TO YOU!
The scores were slightly above average. Nothing special or indicative of my reaction. But I knew I’d finally found my sweet spot. The place where a part of me was released in ways that it just simply is not in other contexts. The flute couldn’t do it. Baking doesn’t do it. Spreadsheets aren’t my sweet spot. But communication (and especially if there is a microphone involved), now we are talking!
Elation is going to be a part of Eden Regained. I don’t think it will be a predominate emotion or that we are going to float around screaming into the wind all day long.
But here is the key difference I see between now and then. Now, we taste and know indifference, the thief who has come to steal elation. Then, we will not be indifferent to people or causes. Nor will be treated with indifference.
Now we nibble, then we will feast on who it is that God has uniquely made each of us to be!
What’s your sweet spot? I love that great variety will exist in the comments :)
All the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, it’s easy! You can subscribe now by entering your email where it says “Jump into the Mess!” I am enjoying the journey together. Amy
Remember: Love, satisfaction, extravagance, freedom, belonging, recreation, truth, trust, purity, submission and power, unity, kindness, blameless, with abandon, acceptance, celebration, faith, generosity, joy, purpose, empathy, rhythms, hope, elation.
I few years out of college I was asked to become the Program Director at the YMCA where I had been working as the Day Camp Director. This was my summer job. My full time job was fourth grade teacher at a Christian school. I was flattered that they wanted me for the position. I liked the idea of not having to work two jobs in order to make ends meet. I had ideas that I wanted to see put into action. It was challenge. Yet something was holding me back. It didn’t quite fit. I realized that it was because teaching was more than just my job. It was part of who God created me to be. Whether or not I teach in a classroom setting for the rest of my life or not, the teacher in me will always find a way to make herself known.
Having gotten to see you a bit in action, Kristi, yes, yes, yes on being a teacher! I am so thankful for that because if you left me in a room with kids — I’d make it for a day, but not for the long haul. And you, my friend, are a long haul kind of teacher. :)
I knew my sweet spot from the first job that I had right out of college. Unfortunately, for almost all of the 20+ years that I’ve lived in China, it’s only been in the last three years that I’ve had the privilege of once again, finally, picking up the baton. Figuratively speaking, because I don’t use a baton when I conduct our university’s choir. :-) But yep, that’s it for me. And you’d know it, too, if you ever saw me conduct. To say that I get into it is putting it mildly! :-)
Warmly welcome you to come watch our choir’s end-of-year concert around the end of this December. Five songs in English, then five in Chinese. Yay! I can’t wait! (Can you tell I just got back from choir rehearsal? :-) )
Mike!!!! This makes me happy AND I WISH I could be there! Enjoy floating around :)
Hi Amy, I would totally agree with you that communication is your sweet spot. You ministered to sooooo many people in your former job and we were blessed and miss you tremendously.
My sweet spot is working with my hands to build something out of wood, fix something or to do something that someone tells me I will never be able to do. I love the challenge of figuring things out.
As one who has gotten to hear you wax poetic about tools, it never gets old! I love the joy in your voice :)!